Apple HomePod: Amazing Sound, But Not for Everybody

Apple HomePod: Amazing Sound, But Not for Everybody

Apple HomePod: Amazing Sound, But Not for Everybody

My HomePod arrives today, and I haven't yet gotten back to set it up and compare its audio quality at home with how Apple's demonstration sounded in store.

In answering to your "Hey Siri" vocal commands, Apple's assistant can perform numerous same table-stakes tasks as Amazon's Alexa on Echos or the Google Assistant on Google Home speakers - from setting timers and reminders to informing you of the weather and traffic, turning on smart lights or solving math. Those homes with more than one Google speaker can utilize them to broadcast a message, which will play across any Google Home device located within your dwelling. The claims are extensive, and iTWire can report when hearing the three devices in one room there is truly no comparison.

"Siri on HomePod is embarrassingly inadequate, even though that is the primary way you interact with it", wrote Brian Chen in his review of HomePod for The New York Times.

Well, what do you guys think about Sonos' snarky hidden message to Apple? It lets you make calls, control smart home accessories, place orders at Amazon, and add third-party skills that can do thousands of different things ranging from games to ordering services. The ability to ask natural questions to frequently needed information can save office workers time, which we all know equates to money. Admittedly, this fine-tuning will come in the way of software updates in the future, but the fact remains that Google Home still dominates voice search and functionality.

While an Apple ID is required to activate HomePod, every request made of Siri is not only encrypted, but also anonymised, before being sent to Apple's servers. It also senses when it is being moved to another location in the house. Considering Spotify has 70 million subscribers, compared to Apple Music's 36 million users, the company is alienating a good portion of potential customers.

If the HomePod is used within an office where speaking to the speaker and listening to responses isn't disruptive to others, the device makes a great addition.

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That is not to say that the Amazon Echo is a bad system in this department, far from it, but the Google Home voice recognition capability is superior to either of its competitors. Like the HomePod, the Google Home Max also allows hands-free voice calls. - The speaker features an Apple-designed 4-inch woofer and unique array of seven beamforming tweeters to provide deep base and pure high frequency acoustics.

As for multi-room options, the Apple speaker will be able to play music across multiple HomePods with AirPlay 2.

Meanwhile, the Google Home Max can be combined with Chromecast Audio or speakers with Chromecast to play music across multiple rooms.

The compact HomePod comes in two colors: white and space gray.

The 6.8-inch tall HomePod uses an advanced algorithm that is touted to continuously analyse the music and tune the low frequencies dynamically.

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